Camel wrestling is a Turkish tradition that dates back almost 2,500 years. The animals are typically imported from nearby countries and brought to Turkey’s Aegean region, where most of the wrestling takes place. In a lot of ways it’s like a goofier and less-deadly version of cockfighting. Two males are brought into the arena and, depending on who’s running the match, one of two things will happen. If it’s a traditional match, a female will be paraded around the ring and made to shake her ass while the males watch on, drooling buckets of foamy spit in sexual frustration until the female’s owner takes her out of the ring, at which point the males fight each other under the misguided assumption that whoever wins will get laid. If the match adheres to the more contemporary—and some say civilized—way of preparing camels to fight, the owners will pull the camels together, putting them face-to-face until they start fighting. According to Wikipedia, organizers have also “attempted to entangle two camels together or starve the camels to make them more aggressive.” The match is over when one of the camels falls down, runs away, or screams.
But the event is more than just a bunch of Turks sitting around watching camels try to bite each other’s balls off. Like most sporting events, a sense of camaraderie fills the stadium. Thick smoke from the dozens of barbecue fires (some of which are cooking camel meat) wafts between the spectators and fighters, and a steady stream of raki, Turkey’s national liquor, keeps the crowd lively.
I visited a fight recently and was able to sneak into the arena to get these shots—and a lot of camel spit in the face—before being almost trampled and then kicked out by the officials.
Last weekend, I attended America’s Family Pet Expo in Costa Mesa, California, which attracts thousands of people for a host of reasons: they love pets, they volunteer with rescue organizations, or they’re interested in buying their cats some quality business cards. One of the biggest draws, though, was the celebrity pet event—a showcase of trained dogs and cats who act in popular TV shows.
Like normal, non-dog-dominated events, the expo had its own black market: shortly after I stepped into the long admission line with the rest of the non-celebrity pets and humans, I got approached by a sketchy, nervous-looking guy who mumbled at me, “You guys want to buy some passes?” Yes, this man was a Pet Expo scalper. I bought a pass.
Although I was primarily there for the celebrity pets, there was no shortage of other entertainment. While walking through the expo, I watched several rounds of dachshund racing, pet an 18-pound rabbit, and spotted more than a few dogs who were better dressed than I was.
In this episode of All Around Losing, Harry attempts to follow in the footsteps of Louis CK and other schmucks-turned-comedy-idols by trying to become a stand-up comic. He starts at the very, very bottom, subjecting himself to New York City’s brutal open-mic scene, and quickly discovers that 1) making people laugh is nightmarishly difficult and 2) he is not good at it. It’s funny to watch him fail, but not ha-ha funny.
When someone told me that they often become sexually aroused while watching other people cry, it made me realize that there really is nothing left in this world that doesn’t get some sicko all sticky in their pants. Well-worn, a fetish for worn-in trainers, is a perfect example of one of those bizarre sexual passions for something that most would cast off as an everyday item, which got me thinking: “Surely there are people around the world who fetishize every single piece of an outfit.”
Turns out there are loads of them, which, anticlimactically, was the least shocking thing I’ve ever heard. Sadly, I couldn’t find anyone who literally fetishizes every single piece of an outfit put together—probably because they’re sprawled out in a puddle of their own bodily fluids, unable to put any clothes on—but I did find various people who fetishize singular pieces of an outfit. I, for one, am sick of fashion designers ripping off fetishes in their own collections and never giving credit where credit’s due, so I reversed the process, spoke to various fetishists, and put together an outfit made up of their combined perversions.